FSC-Radcliffe Fellow 2018-19, FSC-Harvard Fellow 2019-20, continuing 2020-21
Fern Silva’s films juxtapose the structures and industries of globalism. He is drawn to subjects that defy national identity through mythology, mysticism, and historical accounts, and his films consider uncanny and animistic approaches to narrative, ethnographic, and documentary filmmaking as the starting point for structural experimentation.
Silva’s body of film, video, and projection work has been exhibited at various venues, including the Berlin, Hong Kong, Locarno, London, New York, Rotterdam, and Toronto film festivals; Anthology Film Archives; Centre Pompidou; Cinemateca Boliviana; MoMA PS1; Museo de Arte de Lima; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and the New Museum. His work has been featured in publications including Cinema Scope, Film Comment, Filmmaker magazine, and Senses of Cinema. He has received support from the Jerome Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. A faculty member at Bennington College, he received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and his MFA from Bard College.
Rock Bottom Riser
Fern Silva, 74 min., Color, 5.1 Sound, Super 16mm/35mm (2020)
From the earliest voyagers who navigated by starlight to the discovery of habitable planets by astronomers, Rock Bottom Riser examines the all-encompassing encounters of an island world at sea.
As lava continues to flow from the earth’s core on the island of Hawaii – posing an imminent danger – a crisis mounts. Astronomers plan to build the world’s largest telescope on Hawaii’s most sacred and revered mountain, Mauna Kea. Referencing Hawaiian creation chants, the arrival of Christian missionaries, and the observatory’s ability to capture the origins of the universe, Rock Bottom Riser looks through a lens onto the influence of settler colonialism, the search for intelligent life, and the exploration of new worlds as we peer into our own planet’s existence.
Fern Silva’s “Rock Bottom Riser” Receives Special Mention at Berlinale
FSC-Harvard Fellow Fern Silva's "Rock Bottom Riser" received a Special Mention at the Berlinale, where it screened in the Encounters section.